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Brighton Fringe 2016 is here: bigger, better and fringier than ever! And who could be better to kick things off at the Warren than Le Gateau Chocolat, the powerhouse baritone wrapped in lycra and the only artist who can pull off both Wagner and Xanadu.

A standing ovation was truly deserved. We really did get to see the man behind the lycra, and he was beautiful.

This was not my first encounter with Mr. Chocolat. Last summer he performed a showstopper at East End Cabaret’s Club Perverts in London and sitting in the audience was also one Gerard Butler with his missus trying to be very incognito. Le Gateau Chocolat wasn’t having any of it. He had the audience roaring with laughter with an impromptu number about a little mishap between the sheets at the Butler household. Accidents do happen in the dark.

At the Warren we saw a much deeper shade of Le Gateau Chocolat, as he talked about his religious upbringing in Nigeria and shared memories of his school years filled with confusion and unrequited love. Whilst paying respect to his late mentor with a song he performed at the memorial service, the depth of emotional vulnerability – even frailty – took me by surprise. When the wigs came off, the artist bared his soul.

But this was no sombre affair, there was a whole lotta shaking going on as well. All his icons had their time to shine on stage: Kate, Whitney, Barbara, Olivia, Madonna – even Meatloaf. Something magical happens to well-worn pop songs when caressed by Chocolat’s deep velvety baritone and the audience truly believed him when he sang that he would do anything for love (but he won’t do that).

Whether it is Broadway or La Scala next, Le Gateau Chocolat is on his way to great things and, just like the best delicacy, Le Gateau Chocolat leaves you craving for more. A standing ovation was truly deserved. We really did get to see the man behind the lycra, and he was beautiful.

Reviews by Johanna Makelainen

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The Warren: The Nest

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★★★★

Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Performances

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The Blurb

Walking the tightrope between his public and private personas, Le Gateau Chocolat explores relationships with our icons – the people, the moments, the books, the relationships that have come to shape us, or the ideal we aspire to. “A truly unique show, not to be missed” **** (Rip It Up)

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